Ethics & Global Politics is a peer reviewed international Open Access journal whose aim is to foster theoretical contributions to the study of ethics and global politics. It does not favour any philosophical perspective or political problem but emphasizes the importance of closing the gap between normative ethics and political theory, on the one hand, and contemporary political problems in the global domain, on the other. The journal provides a forum for original research articles, reviews and research notes that integrate normative issues within philosophy and political theory with political problems related to processes and phenomena that transgress traditional distinctions between regional, national, international and global levels of politics. In particular it encourages contributions that provide novel ways of approaching and conceptualizing the political challenges the world faces today, for instance in relation to global institutional arrangements, environmental protection, policy development, poverty, technology and knowledge, future generations, and migration.

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The Globethics.net library contains articles of Ethics & Global Politics as of vol. 1(2008) to current.

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  • A defense of the moral and legal right to secede

    Moises Vaca; Marc Artiga (Taylor & Francis Group, 2021-01-01)
    We defend the moral and legal right to secede in accordance with plebiscitary theory. Our paper has three main goals. First, by offering a schematic characterization of plebiscitary theory, the main arguments in its favour (and the main objections to them), we contribute to clarify the structure of this complex debate. Second, we stress the point that, if the moral right to secede is established, the resistance for its inclusion into positive law is unjustified. Finally, by addressing old and new objections to plebiscitary theory, we hope to make a compelling case for a wider recognition of secessionist rights.
  • Beyond lockdown? The ethics of global movement in a new era

    Guy Aitchison (Taylor & Francis Group, 2021-01-01)
    A collection of recent works offer a route into rethinking the ethics of borders at a time when the rules and practices of global mobility have been called into question by the coronavirus pandemic. What counts as a legitimate justification for the closure of borders and who gets to decide? Who has responsibility for the protection of refugees? Just how practical is the ideal of ‘open borders’ and is there a trade-off between justice in immigration and the stability of a liberal political order? While some commentators have claimed that the coronavirus pandemic sounded the death knell for the ideal of open borders, its true import is to highlight our mutual vulnerability and the need for effective global co-ordination of migration and asylum. The four contributions I discuss provide vital moral arguments and conceptual distinctions relevant to thinking about the contours of a post-pandemic regime of global mobility. While they differ on the question of who the liberal state may justifiably exclude, and on the desirability and practicality of cosmopolitan reform, they converge in assigning states a far greater role in protecting the human rights of vulnerable non-citizens and in their condemnation of a cruel and repressive status quo.
  • What Kind of Functionings Matter for Global Justice for Children?

    Gottfried Schweiger (Taylor & Francis Group, 2021-01-01)
    In this paper I am interested in the ‘currency of justice’ question, which is important for a theory of global justice for children, based within the capability approach. My paper is structured in three parts. In the first part I will examine the distinction between capabilities and functionings and consider the role this plays in global justice for children. In the second part I will discuss the temporality of functionings as a key feature for understanding global justice for children. It is important to distinguish here between the timing (when children have certain functionings) and the duration of functionings (for how long children have those functionings). In the third and final part I will discuss the role of specific functionings which have been termed in other debates ‘kindergoods’ or the ‘intrinsic goods of childhood’. I will argue in this regard that child-specificity can have different meanings, that some functionings can only be had by children and that some functionings are particularly valuable only for children despite the fact that adults can also have them.
  • Political self-deception and epistemic vice

    Neil C. Manson (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    Galeotti argues that we can gain a better understanding of political decision making by drawing upon the notion of self-deception and offers a rich articulation of what self-deception is, and how and why it exerts influence upon political decision making, especially in high-stakes contexts where the decision seems to be counter to rationality. But such contexts are also explicable from a different perspective, with different theoretical resources. In recent years the field of ‘virtue epistemology’ has discussed a wide range of epistemic vices – traits of character, and cognitive strategies, that stand in the way of gaining knowledge. This raises questions about how an explanation of political decision making in terms of self-deception relates to an explanation in terms of epistemic vice. Because the notion of epistemic vice applies to self-deception and to other cognitive deficiencies, it is argued that the broader notion of epistemic vice might be explanatorily richer, and more useful.
  • What is political about political self-deception?

    Lior Erez (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    In Political Self-Deception, Galeotti considers (and rebuts) two ‘realist’ objections. Galeotti’s realist argues that there is no need for the overly complex concept of self-deception, since self-serving lies and manipulation are descriptively and normatively sufficient; and that in any case, deception in democratic politics is sometimes justifiable. In response, Galeotti offers explanatory, moral, and normative reasons why self-deception is a helpful concept in international politics: it helps us better understand the political reality of deception, and guides us in how to avoid or mitigate it. In this comment, I wish to revisit the realist objections, and to provide a more nuanced and more robust version of them. In doing so, I raise questions about the relationship between self-deception and the failure of political judgement, about the moral evaluation of deception in democratic politics, and about the normative implications of Galeotti’s analysis for political responsibility and for prophylactic measures.
  • From political self-deception to self-deception in political theory

    Alice Baderin (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    In Political Self-Deception, Galeotti carves out valuable space for the analysis of behaviour on the part of political leaders that lies between straightforward deception and honest mistakes. In these comments I consider whether the concept of self-deception can travel from the political to the academic arena, to illuminate problems in how political theorists treat empirical data in the course of their normative work. Drawing on examples from the literature on the social bases of self-respect, I show that political theorists too are vulnerable to the motivationally biased treatment of data. I suggest that this problem can helpfully be located on the same broad terrain Galeotti outlines, between lying and mistakes. I also identify some potential analogues, for the academic sphere, of Galeotti's proposed remedies for political SD. The paper goes on to reflect on how Galeotti herself employs empirical evidence in developing her account of self-deception. In particular, I challenge the empirical basis of her assumption that political self-deception is significantly more predictable, and therefore preventable, than political lying. My discussion seeks to show that, in addition to its intended contribution to the study of political deception, Political Self-Deception offers a valuable perspective on recent debates about the place of empirical evidence in political theory. However, approaching the book from this methodological angle reveals, in turn, some weaknesses in the empirical foundations of one of Galeotti's own key normative claims.
  • Pathologies of democratic deliberation: introduction to the symposium on A.E. Galeotti’s Political Self-Deception

    Gabriele Badano; Alasia Nuti (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    This paper introduces the symposium on Anna Elisabetta Galeotti’s book Political Self-Deception. After having explained the contribution of the book to debates in democratic theory and having highlighted its main arguments, the paper provides an overview of the different contributions to the symposium. The contributions range from philosophy, political theory and history and, thus, show the interdisciplinary interest of the book and critically engage with its various aspects.
  • Political Self-Deception revisited: reply to comments

    Anna Elisabetta Galeotti (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    The article replies to the five comments to Political Self-Deception, from the more philosophical and epistemic remarks to the more political and historical ones. In the end, it summarizes the main points of the book as suggested by the discussion with the five comments.
  • Self-deception, war, and the quest for the appropriate prophylactic

    Shaul Mitelpunkt (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    A contribution to the roundtable on Anna Galeotti’s book. This review examines the utility of taking a prophylactic approach to the study of the history of U.S. military interventions.
  • Reality check: can impartial umpires solve the problem of political self-deception?

    Alfred Moore (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    What can one say to the self-deceived? And – perhaps more importantly – who can say it? The attribution of self-deception depends heavily on the criteria for what is thought to be beyond dispute. For Galeotti, misperception of reality is a product of psychological and emotional pressure resulting in ‘emotionally overloaded wishes’, and her solution thus involves the construction of what an ‘impartial’ and ‘dispassionate’ observer would conclude when presented with the same evidence. Drawing on her examples of foreign policy decision-making, I discuss two objections. First, I ask whether being ‘dispassionate’ is enough get one off the hook from the sorts of value judgements that must be made in assessing evidence in complex situations. Second, I address the role of disagreement and dissent, and suggest that what is required are not actors with a lack of emotionally overloaded wishes, but actors with different goals and wishes. Thus, while Galeotti emphasizes solutions drawing on ideals of impartiality, we might more productively look for solutions that engage multiple forms of partiality.
  • Global education and the liberal project

    Michael G. Festl (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    This article engages with Julian Culp’s Democratic Education in a Globalized World from the perspective of political philosophy in a global world. The focus is on liberalism. From this angle, Culp’s book entails three important claims. The first is that a right to basic education on the global level exists, i.e. a right to education for everybody independent of one’s nation state. The second claim is that the implementation of this right is not a task for each nation state alone but of world society as a whole. This implies that countries that are able to provide more than basic education to its citizens have a duty to redistribute part of their excess resources to help poor countries secure basic education for their citizens. Culp’s third claim, relevant to the liberal project, is on the kind of education that is supposed to go global. This education should be free-standing, that is, based on political as opposed to perfectionist arguments. This contribution agrees with the first claim, is sceptical regarding the second one, and disagrees with the third one.
  • Teach your children well: introduction to the book symposium on Julian Culp’s democratic education in a globalized world

    Klaus Dingwerth; Simon Pistor (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    This paper provides an introduction to the book symposium on Julian Culp’s Democratic Education in a Globalized World. In this paper we introduce the themes and core claims of Culp’s book, sketch the contributions made by authors of this symposium, and highlight the plausibility of the book’s significance for debates in political philosophy, philosophy of education, educational public policy, as well as for the practice of political education. The issue includes three critical essays by Michael Festl, Martin Beckstein, and Michael Geiss as well as a response to the critics by Culp.
  • A vindication of transnational democratic education – replies to Michael Festl, Martin Beckstein and Michael Geiss

    Julian Culp (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    In Democratic Education in a Globalized World (Routledge, 2019) I defend a discourse theory of global justice as the appropriate normative1 ground for conceiving educational justice and citizenship education under conditions of economic and political globalization. In addition, I articulate democratic conceptions of global educational justice and citizenship education that recognize a moral-political right to democratically adequate education and call for the creation of transnational democratic consciousness. Based on these conceptions I spell out school practices such as historically informed, cross-cultural learning within socially diverse settings that would contribute to realizing these conceptions. In this article I reply to liberal perfectionist, communitarian-conservative and empiricist-historical critiques of Democratic Education in a Globalized World from Michael Festl, Martin Beckstein and Michael Geiss, respectively. I emphasize the feasibility of injustice-reducing educational practices, I explain how a discourse theory of justice accommodates considerations of both the good and the right, and I justify why the grim record of past educational experience does not render pointless the pursuit of progressive aims through education.
  • What can be achieved through education at all? A response to Julian Culp

    Michael Geiss (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    In the following I would like to expose Julian Culp’s normative argumentation to some empirical considerations. My commentary focuses on one of the central premises of the book: Culp assumes that education can make a decisive contribution to solving the current challenges in plural and globalized societies. He states that recent political philosophy has unacceptably neglected the issue of education. But the book’s aim is not the theoretical determination of education itself. Rather, Culp is concerned with the question of giving education the right normative foundation to solve the social, ecological and democratic challenges the globalized world is currently facing. I don’t think that one can or should discuss and analyse education without normative considerations. Educational thinking cannot do without a normative foundation and it is helpful and necessary to reflect upon them philosophically. This is the central concern of the book, and there is nothing to be added to it by historians or educational researchers. But a purely normative approach runs the risk of repeating many of the problems inherent in educational thinking. I think that even a normative approach would gain a lot from taking the empirical and historical boundaries of its subject more seriously than Culp does. Therefore, most of my remarks are about the relationship between normative theory and historical realities.
  • Cosmopolitan arrogance, epistemic modesty and the motivational prerequisites for solidarity

    Martin Beckstein (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-12-01)
    To assess the merits and demerits of the content of Culp’s educational programme, the paper does three things: First, it discusses whether Culp’s defence against conceivable objections manages to effectively dispel the charge of cosmopolitan arrogance. Second, it spells out one implication of epistemic modesty, which Culp considers a core competence to be imparted by citizenship education. Third, it reflects upon the tricky task of motivating individuals to comply with the demands of justice. Taken together, the paper argues that Culp’s case is impressively strong but nevertheless tends to suffer from a rationalist constriction. It does not leave sufficient room for tradition in private life and public reasoning. This rationalist constriction is problematic from a normative philosophical, and especially a practice-oriented viewpoint.
  • A sense of self-suspicion: global legal pluralism and the claim to legal authority

    Mariano Croce; Marco Goldoni (Taylor & Francis Group, 2015-03-01)
    Legal pluralism has become common currency in many contemporary debates on law and globalization. Its main claim is that a form of global legal pluralism represents both the most accurate description of law in times of globalization and the best normative option. On the descriptive level, global legal pluralism is considered more reliable than state-based accounts. On the normative level, global legal pluralism is understood as a possibility to open up the legal realm to previously unheard voices. This article assesses these claims against the background of classic legal-pluralist scholarship. After reconstructing the emergence of global legal pluralism and then examining its epistemic and normative versions, the last two sections identify the shortcoming of this approach by underlining the absence of what the authors call ‘a sense of self-suspicion’ in drawing the map of legalities in the global sphere. The main argument put forward is that global legal pluralism is oblivious of a few key insights offered by the founding fathers of classic legal pluralism.
  • Qualified market access and inter-disciplinarity

    Lisa Herzog; Andrew Walton (Taylor & Francis Group, 2014-05-01)
    This note offers reflections on qualified market access (QMA)—the practice of linking trade agreements to values such as human rights, labour standards, or environmental protection. This idea has been suggested by political theorists as a way of fulfilling our duties to the global poor and of making the global economic system more just, and it has influenced a number of concrete policies, such as European Union (EU) trade policies. Yet, in order to assess its merits tout court, different perspectives and disciplines need to be brought together, such as international law, economics, political science, and philosophy. It is also worth reflecting on existing practices, such as those of the EU. This note summarises some insights about QMA by drawing such research together and considers the areas in which further research is needed, whilst reflecting also on the merits of interdisciplinary exchanges on such topics.
  • The fool and the franchiser: formal justice in the political theories of Hobbes and Rawls

    Jan Niklas Rolf (Taylor & Francis Group, 2016-03-01)
    Thomas Hobbes and John Rawls are usually portrayed in antagonistic terms. While Hobbes, one of the first scholars to translate Thucydides, is often held to be an archetypal realist, Rawls, a self-proclaimed follower of Kant, is frequently said to argue from an explicit normative position. In this paper, I try to demonstrate that the two philosophers have more in common than is generally thought. Drawing on Hobbes's answer to the fool and Rawls's analogy of the franchiser, I suggest that there is a powerful link between the two philosophers that can tell us something valuable about their theories of formal justice. Against Brian Barry's characterization of Hobbes as an advocate of justice as mutual advantage and Rawls as a proponent of both justice as mutual advantage and justice as impartiality, I argue that the two philosophers adhere to one and the same tradition of justice, justice as reciprocity, which bases obligations of reciprocity not only on explicit express, but also on tacit acceptance of benefits.
  • State responsibility and counterterrorism

    Isaac Taylor (Taylor & Francis Group, 2016-12-01)
    It is widely thought that the international community, taken as a whole, is required to take action to prevent terrorism. Yet, what each state is required to do in this project is unclear and contested. This article examines a number of bases on which we might assign responsibilities to conduct counterterrorist operations to states. I argue that the ways in which other sorts of responsibilities have been assigned to states by political philosophers will face significant limitations when used to assign the necessary costs of preventing terrorism. I go on to suggest that appealing to the principle of fairness—which assigns obligations on the basis of benefits received from cooperative endeavours—may be used to make up the shortfall, despite this principle having received relatively little attention in existing normative accounts of states’ responsibilities.
  • Does classical liberalism imply democracy?

    David Ellerman (Taylor & Francis Group, 2015-12-01)
    There is a fault line running through classical liberalism as to whether or not democratic self-governance is a necessary part of a liberal social order. The democratic and non-democratic strains of classical liberalism are both present today—particularly in the United States. Many contemporary libertarians and neo-Austrian economists represent the non-democratic strain in their promotion of non-democratic sovereign city-states (start-up cities or charter cities). We will take the late James M. Buchanan as a representative of the democratic strain of classical liberalism. Since the fundamental norm of classical liberalism is consent, we must start with the intellectual history of the voluntary slavery contract, the coverture marriage contract, and the voluntary non-democratic constitution (or pactum subjectionis). Next we recover the theory of inalienable rights that descends from the Reformation doctrine of the inalienability of conscience through the Enlightenment (e.g. Spinoza and Hutcheson) in the abolitionist and democratic movements. Consent-based governments divide into those based on the subjects’ alienation of power to a sovereign and those based on the citizens’ delegation of power to representatives. Inalienable rights theory rules out that alienation in favor of delegation, so the citizens remain the ultimate principals and the form of government is democratic. Thus the argument concludes in agreement with Buchanan that the classical liberal endorsement of sovereign individuals acting in the marketplace generalizes to the joint action of individuals as the principals in their own organizations.

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